Black Screen, White Mouse Pointer RRS feed

  • Question

  • In searching for a solution, I've come to notice this is not a rare problem. 

    I have a strong feeling I know what caused the issue.  I had created a new user account, had switched user names back and forth a few times, and then the system hung during one of the switches.  I had not yet shutdown or restarted since creating the new user account.  I had to power the system off manually.  When I started the system back up, I got the black screen with the mouse pointer.  I completed a startup repair, tried again.  Same result.  I tried to boot into safe mode, same result.  I have attempted a few of the fixes including the registry edit in http://forums.microsoft.com/TechNet/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=2805226&SiteID=17, only to start the computer with the same result.  (The value was already set at explore.exe.) 

    Ctrl + Alt + Del is unresponsive.

    I also noticed that in the startup repair console, after its completed, its stating that the OS booted successfully...

    I believe that since I was unable to shut down the system properly, that their is an issue when the computer gets to the point to display the different user accounts to log on with.  There is no restore point set up so my only option is fixing this or reinstalling Vista which I really want to avoid.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!
    Friday, August 22, 2008 7:58 PM


All replies

  • Another possible way of attacking this...

    Since I only have access to Startup Repair tools... is there any way to remove a user via command prompt or registry since I think that the problem lies in the creation of the new user account?  I don't mind if all the user's files are lost as I just created it and there are none.
    Friday, August 22, 2008 10:38 PM
  • Matt


    Check out the 'Net User' command. See this website for the syntax and options.


    Net user:


    If this post helps to resolve your issue, click the Mark as Answer button at the top of this message.
    By marking a post as Answered, you help others find the answer faster.

    Ronnie Vernon
    Microsoft MVP
    Windows Desktop Experience
    Saturday, August 23, 2008 3:26 AM
  • Over the years, I have had this problem many times on various versions of Windows and somehow always solved it.  It happened last night on Windows 7 and this morning I had a "DOH!" moment that solved it.  So let me generalize here and also provide some tips to help prevent / diagnose / fix the problem in many cases.

    1) Tip: set Windows so that pressing the power button momentarily shuts down your computer.  Doing this reduces the chance that you will either have to press "reset" or have to hold the power button to force the computer to kill all power (either of which can corrupt your disk and cause further problems).

    2) Another tip: take a snapshot of Windows before you mess with your computer.

    3) Windows Update has been known to give a black screen with a movable mouse pointer after reboot.  No progress message.  No Nothing.  When you are staring at a blank screen and a movable mouse pointer after starting your Windows system, resist the temptation to "do something" and do nothing instead.  Let your computer run overnight just the way it is.  If it works in the morning, then you shouldn't have the problem again until the next update.

    4) Keep track of what you are doing or have just done.  Many references I found while searching the Internet told about various devices or drivers that caused the problem (for that person).  I got the black windows, white mouse problem last night when I turned off the computer and the computer told me Windows would update before shutdown.  After my computer stopped, I powered it on and got the black screen.  For a long, long time. After half an hour, I went to bed.  When I got up this morning, I still saw the black screen.  I gave the power button a short press and watched the disk light flash for a while and then the computer shut down.  I powered on the computer and watched how it behaved.  Black screen, white mouse pointer for a long, long time.  Again, I gave the power button a short press and Windows shut down normally.

    Then it hit me ... last night I had removed a device I had never used because the driver had never loaded properly.  On a whim this morning, I plugged the device back in and Windows booted normally.  I opened the Device Manager, found the uninstalled device, explicitly told Windows to uninstall that never-properly-installed device, then Shutdown Windows.  Again I unplugged the device and started the computer.  My computer booted properly.

    Many times, people try a whole bunch of things, making the situation progressively worse.  Trying this, trying that.  Crashing Windows with a reset or power failure.  Corrupting the file system, registry, or who knows what. That is why some people report  sfc /scannow or chkdsk /f/r work for them.

    4) So before you try anything else (or even worse, a whole bunch of things), try undoing what you did in the first place.  Did you move something into a different place?  Did you remove something? Did you add something? Did you update or upgrade something? Undo it.  Put everything back the way it was before you had the problem and then start the computer.  Can't hurt.

    I hope this helps someone because I see a lot of people asking about the problem and very few answers that fix it for most people.

    • Edited by GeezerNerd Thursday, April 10, 2014 10:04 PM fixing typos
    Thursday, April 10, 2014 9:59 PM